Woman hurt in U.S. 20 crash settles for $1 Million

$1 Million settlement for woman hurt in a crash on U.S. 20 in 2018. The case was settled on Thursday for $1 million, her attorney said. On January 15, 2018, Karen Forbes, 75, and Amber Heinrich, 16, met with a crash.

Forbes was driving on U.S. 20 in Erin Township, IL while Heinrich was coming from the opposite side as she lost control of her car while driving through an icy curve, crossed the center line and crashed into Forbes’ car.

Forbes suffered various injuries including two fractured wrists, a fractured femur, a fractured ankle, and a shattered heel bone. A deputy sheriff in Stephenson County, Daniel Ernst, investigated the crash. He had noticed that before the incident, it had snowed. The roads were”icy, slushy and slick.” Blake Vance of the law firm Coplan + Crane represented Forbes in the case.

He said that Heinrich was solely responsible for causing the accident. He argued that there was no liability in the case. He said, “While the roads were slippery that day, drivers have a responsibility to adapt to road conditions. Ms. Heinrich was driving too fast and did not take proper actions to avoid a collision.”

He said that her client will required surgery and further medical procedures. He also noted that Forbes medical bills amounted to more than $459,000.  Before the crash, Forbes had been working 32 hours a week and had originally planned at the end of 2018. She faced early retirement due to the crash and suffered lost wages as a result.

Forbes had initially demanded $1,250,000 but ultimately settled at $1 million. According to court records, the case was dismissed Friday in Freeport following a settlement agreement in Illinois’ 15th Judicial Circuit Court ahead of a March 2020 trial date

Senior writer at the Chicago Morning Star

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